BOSTON (CBS) – Adam Jones filled in for Gresh & Zolak on Friday, and he began the day with an interesting topic as the Patriots head into Week 17 of the NFL regular season: are the Patriots changing their identity?
Adam posits that because the Patriots are without tight end Rob Gronkowski, maybe they realize that their strength lies in the running game, and that they’ll focus more attention on that going forward.
After losing Rob Gronkowski in the third quarter against the Browns (a game in which they only rushed the ball 21 times), the Patriots came back the following week and ran just 22 times in a 24-20 loss to the Dolphins.
Whether by design or not, in Week 16 in Baltimore the Patriots rushed 34 times – their second highest total of the season – en route to a 41-7 trouncing over the Ravens.
LeGarrette Blount is running much harder than he did earlier in the season, and Stevan Ridley is starting to see his workload increase after fumbling in three straight games against Pittsburgh, Carolina and Denver.
Add in the versatile, pass-catching Shane Vereen and the steady Brandon Bolden and the Patriots have a healthy stable of running backs as they head into the postseason.
Adam Jones can’t help but wonder if the 34 attempts against the Ravens was simply a matchup thing, or something that the Patriots will incorporate more into their offense from here on out.
Are the Patriots changing their identity?
Do the Patriots need to change their identity to be successful in the postseason?
Listen below for the full discussion: